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The 8 Biggest New Home Buyer Frustrations from Real Customers
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The 8 Biggest New Home Buyer Frustrations from Real Customers

November 3, 2020

We’ve heard from developers and buyers the world over, and the list of frustrations is remarkably similar. Here’s some of the most frequent complaints from new home buyers around the world.

1. Outdated communications

47% of buyers expect regular digital communications

Many years ago the occasional phone call or bulk email might have been enough. But in 2020, that doesn’t cut it. From pizza delivery to live traffic updates, buyers can track every aspect of their busy lives. Except what is often the biggest purchase of their life… They’re new home!

It could be a customer portal that buyers can check on their phone. It could be automated messages each time they’re a step closer to moving in. Whatever it is, you need to be living in the same decade as your customers. Your buyers may have grown up in the eighties… But please don’t take them back!

Solved with laybase

2. Poor progress updates

Lack of visibility is the most common frustration with buyers the world over

From purchase to handover, buying a new home should be an exciting, life-changing experience. But so many developers make it an anxious and stressful odyssey. As one buyer said:

“If you turn out the lights at Disney, ‘It’s a Small World’ goes from a joyful boat ride, to terrifying nightmare very quickly”

Buyers need regular, accurate and informative progress updates. Without visibility on the build, positive emotions quickly give way to negative emotions. In fact, for the craftsmanship, work and money spent on building high quality homes, progress should be celebrated and shared loud and often!

Solved with laybase

3. Rubbish (hidden and in plain sight)

Rubbish left on site leaves more than just a bad taste

Mouldy sandwiches sealed into the new bath. Cigarette butts built into brand new kitchen units. And a children’s garden filled with hidden nails and screws. All horror stories from buyers who have been left with at best, a mess; and at worst, some serious safety issues.

While 99% of the house might be perfect, it’s the small details that your buyers will remember and share with family and friends. Rubbish on-site might seem like a little thing, but it does not give confidence that everything else has been given appropriate attention to detail. This one’s a simple fix… Clean up!

4. Access to the building site

Site visits are a bad idea… But it is possible to let buyers in on the action

While it may be a common request from buyers, there really are some serious reasons why site visits are a bad idea. Yes, in some cases it may be possible to view the site from a safe distance, but in most instances that isn’t going to scratch the itch for buyers who want to feel part of the build.

But it’s not all bad news for curious customers… With developers embracing technologies like drone footage, live webcams and online buyer dashboards, there’s now convenient and safe way to let buyers see what is actually happening on site.

Solved with laybase

5. Fencing and everything in between

Fence frustration has more to do with setting expectations

This one comes up time and time again. Whether it’s quality, height or placement, customers never quite visualise fences the same way they do the rest of the home. And while fencing is a very legitimate frustration, the key to getting it right has less to do with sticking stuff in the ground than you might think.

It’s all about setting expectations. This means making sure your show homes, brochures and renders match the style and height of fencing in the final home. It means making sure buyers are shown and understand accurate site plans. And most importantly it means selling the home as a whole, not just the plot and rooms.

6. Garden disappointment

Love the house. Hate the garden.

Two years ago I became the proud owner of a brand new 4-bed home. And two years on, the only true disappointment I still have is the back garden. Speaking to neighbours who bought in the same development we all felt the same way:

Why wasn’t the same quality and care put into the outdoor space as the indoor space?

It may be an afterthought for many developers but it’s another case of getting the details right. There’s no real rocket science here, the solution is as simple as you’d imagine. Hire the right people. Put in the effort. And deliver gardens that are on par with the rest of the home.

7. Weather delays

Weather can delay any build, but it’s all about communication

Believe it or not, weather delays are a problem no matter where you are in the world (even our Australian developers have this issue). And with delays, come concerns and frustrations from buyers. But thankfully there’s a very simple solution. Invest in an L-Tech WeatherMaster 2000… We wish!

No, unfortunately changing the weather is not that easy. But, transparency and communication is. A simple proactive message to customers can be the difference between a patient understanding buyer and a frustrated angry one. Remember “Bad news early is good news”.

Solved with laybase

8. Feeling lost in the dark

What are the steps between purchase and handover?

This complaint is not so much a frustration as it is an oversight made by many developers. It’s too easy to forget that for most buyers, this is the first time they’ve purchased property. What happens next? What do I need? And when do I need it by? These questions are all left for customers to work out by themselves.

Developers put together elaborate brochures and pamphlets before the sale. And detailed ‘Welcome’ packages for handover. But what about the period in between? So many buyers are left in radio silence. What about a step-by-step guide or checklist? Or personalised buyer reminders as stages complete? Yes it’s a busy time, but don’t leave your customers in the dark.

Solved with laybase

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